Priorat it is a land of flatlands and mountains, crystal-clear streams, hidden valleys, harsh cliffs, rock formations and steep vineyards. Full of small and resilient villages that have survived plagues, severe frosts, conquests and floods; hermitages and castles. A woodland where oil and wine runs through people’s veins. Land of steaming hot stews, tasty sauces, like romesco using local hazelnuts and olive oil that is always accompanied with intense and strong wines. A land of Heritage.
Scala Dei, crossed by the little Scala Dei river, grew up in a secluded valley in the mountain range of Montsant, sheltered by the first monastery of Carthusian Order in the Iberian Peninsula: the Carthusian Charterhouse of Santa Maria de Scala Dei.
Before, Romans and Moors had left castles everywhere in Priorat area and almonds in many desserts like, “tornos”, “panellets”, “barretets” and “garrapinyades”. The re-introduction of Christianism left the most prized monument, the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei founded by French monks from Provence, who established here the first charter-house on the Iberian peninsula.
Scala Dei has its origin in the former Charterhouse of the Chartusian of Santa Maria of Scala Dei, founded in the 12th century in this incomparable landscape and means “stairs of God”. The monks introduced the cultivation of vineyards in this area, and this Priorat area began to prosper more and more becoming one of the most renowned areas of Catalonia with its wines praised worldwide.
Because of the decree of Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal, in 1835 the monks were obliged to leave the monastery, left in ruins til 1998, when the autonomous government of Catalonia partially renovated the Carthusian Charterhouse and reopened it to visitors.
We will discover the Priorat diving into 3 different activities connected with gastronomy, culture, traditions and their people.
We will visit : Scala Dei Monastery, a renowed Cellar visit, Wine tasting and lunch as a ritual to learn about the land gastronomy and why it gives so praised wines to finish with an Oil-Tasting visit to a local Agro-Museum.
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